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Protect against bias in defense medical exams.

Never let a client attend a defense medical examination (DME) alone. At a minimum, you or a paralegal should also attend to prevent the client from answering inappropriate questions and to help avoid misrepresentations or confusion regarding the plaintiff's condition and the events of the exam.

Unfortunately, this may pose a predicament if you or your paralegal are called to testify about the examining doctor's conclusions. For this reason, it may be best to retain a nurse from an independent agency to accompany the plaintiff and document the exam. If it becomes necessary, the nurse can testify and impeach the defendant's physician.

Consider videotaping the DME if your jurisdiction allows it. A video camera may limit an improper examination and contradict any biased findings that the defense doctor makes in his or her report, at deposition, or at trial.

R. Steven Shisler

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Author:Shisler, R. Steven
Date:Apr 1, 2005
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